To each business its own data center.

In the last post we have talked about data centers, buildings responsible of keeping alive all the firms around the world. Data centers are technological cores which host all the equipment needed to ensure the business continuity and the functioning of the entire corporate Information System. In simple terms, they are the locations where servers and all the machines to provide services and business operations are kept. Data center can have different characteristics. First of all, as seen in the last article, there is a difference between traditional data centers and Virtual Data Centers. The first host only physical servers, while the second host virtual machines

data center

Given the high degree of complexity of these buildings, some guide lines have been drafted to classify data centers according to their features. In particular, they are separated into 4 levels based on the business continuity they are able to assure and on the infrastructure’s redundancy: Tier I – Tier II – Tier III e Tier IV, from the basic level up to the higher one. Depending on the needs of each business, it is good to rely on one type of data center or another. The first level (TIER I) for instance, guarantees the business continuity with a maximum downtime of more or less 30 hours per year. But let’s think about a bank or a hospital: they cannot afford a so long failure, just two hours of downtime may cause them big damages; those kinds of companies cannot trust a TIER I but need a data center of higher level. In the following lines the classification of TIER data center with related business continuity times assured:

  • TIER I
    Business continuity ensured at 99,671%. The basic level don’t have any redundancy of infrastructures, which is translated in a data center’s downtime of maximum 28,8 hours per year.
  • TIER II
    Business continuity ensured at 99,741%. Instead, the second level guarantees a partial redundancy of components, meaning a maximum downtime of 22 hours per year.
  • TIER III
    Business continuity ensured at 99,982%. TIER III is already a high-level data center, which has a N+1 redundancy that enables to carry out maintenance operations without any interruption of service. The maximum downtime is of 1,6 hours per year.
  • TIER IV
    Business continuity ensured at 99,995%, translated in a data center’s downtime of 0,4 hours per year. This is the safest data center, with a N+2 redundancy: it ensures the service availability both during maintenance and in case of technical faults or accidents.

Thanks to that classification is possible to understand the service levels guaranteed by any kind of data center and choose the right one for your business.

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